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Discussion Starter #1
The title is the question - what are "donating members" ?. Does this refer to donations of time and writing, or financial donations ?.

Thank you.
 

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BA'o'Matic 100% working.
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Yes financial donations to help keep this great site going, check the pub for the sticky on donations.

Welcome aboard.
Jason
 

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I am The Brain
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Yep as Dellboy has said they are people who donate some of their hard-earned money to keep the site running...ie paying for more bandwidth, doing updates etc. So they are loved by all!
 

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Not to mention you get entrance to the Donating Members section, surprise surprise :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dellboy999 said:
Welcome aboard.
Jason
Thanks for the explanation Jason ... and the welcome :)

I found that thread you're referring to, after I'd posted this one ( silly me - still getting used to the site ). So tell me Jason, does the site publish financial figures insofar as how much it costs to run and how much is donated to the site by members ?. I also see ( please correct me if I'm wrong ) that the site receives sponsorship .. again, if it isn't breaking the official secrets act, I was wondering what the site receives from sponsors.

The reason I ask is twofold .. firstly, I used to run a huge corporate helpsite with a discussion forum area, and costs are manageable and certainly not prohibitive in my opinion for a site such as this ( the one I ran was much larger and more involved, so if anything, the costs I'm aware of would be higher than here ), and further, I was reading earlier that the site is looking for writers but on a voluntary basis. I find it "odd" that the site is supported financially by third parties, yet offers no financial reward to people who the site needs as writers.

A site such as this is successful ( or not ) through the efforts of its contributing members, and the owner, and anyone on an administrative or moderating team are only a small part of the success of sites such as these which are based on the medium of discussion forums.

I hope you don't think me ( as a newcomer to the site ) to be asking too many "awkward" questions - I'm genuinely interested in understanding how the site you have here, operates; in that thread you pointed out to me, it would appear that then, many 100's if not thousands of dollars were being contributed to the site, but in my experience, discussion forum based sites don't need high amounts of cash in order to continue.

Hi FordHawk :)

Thanks for replying also. I don't doubt that websites occasionally require some financial assistance in order to survive, but in my experience, that assistance can normally be more than covered by members of the administrative or moderating team, who usually number several people.

In addition to having members contribute financially here, I also see that site branded merchandise is offered for sale - I'm just wondering how much of a commercial venture the site is etc etc, because I'm one of the opinion that should a person begin a website, then whomever that person is should think far enough ahead in order to try and predict where the site is heading, and whether or not funds are in place for it to reach that heading.

Hi XWGT :)

Surely though, having access to a section of their own creates a divide unnecessarily.

Anyway, I'm not here to ruffle any feathers :) .... I have access to quite a large amount of Ford information and hope to stick around and contribute it when I can. With Christmas nearly upon us I'll not have much time to spend here but, if I can settle into the site ( still busy looking around and trying to find where everything is ), I'll certainly do so.
 

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To be perfectly honest LCJ66, the reason I made a donation was not from a "site needs help" perspective, but more of a "finally here is a site that actually provides me with something, I'm happy to pay a few $ for that". And interestingly, I have never paid a cent to any other organisation on the net in over 10 years of heavy use, so perhaps it speaks more of the actually quality of the site, and its underlying tones, than anything else.
I know people from these forums personally, have attended functions, and been able to introduce members of the Falcon GT Club to members of FF, and had them participate in joint events. Its been a great facilitator. So for me, thats good value for the $ I put in the kitty :)
Am sure many others are probably motivated by the same thing.

Also, one more to mention, is membership gives you access to members events, and with the last one, a considerable amount of FF merchandise was given to all who attended as prizes etc. So its easy to see that its not an all take situation, quite a lot goes back.

As for the divide, I dont think it really exists. I was here for 6 months before I decided to throw some money in the pot, but was in no way treated any differently or excluded from any aspect of the forums

Enjoy the ride :)
 

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LCJ66 said:
Thanks for the explanation Jason ... and the welcome :)

I found that thread you're referring to, after I'd posted this one ( silly me - still getting used to the site ). So tell me Jason, does the site publish financial figures insofar as how much it costs to run and how much is donated to the site by members ?. I also see ( please correct me if I'm wrong ) that the site receives sponsorship .. again, if it isn't breaking the official secrets act, I was wondering what the site receives from sponsors.

I do not publish financial records on the net. Firstly this is not a for profit site. I do not earn money to make a living off of it. This site earns off of the advertising from one sponsor enough to cover BW costs for a 3 month basis. The rest is pulled out of my own personal pocket and via donations. The other sponsor on this site has given time his time, input, Free dyno pulls for one event, sponsored other FF events and have given free gear to members on this site that have attended said events.


LCJ66 said:
The reason I ask is twofold .. firstly, I used to run a huge corporate helpsite with a discussion forum area, and costs are manageable and certainly not prohibitive in my opinion for a site such as this ( the one I ran was much larger and more involved, so if anything, the costs I'm aware of would be higher than here ),
That is all relative. You may not think that this site publishes much or for that matter uses enough BW, but we generate 900gb/mo of traffic on average. Whilst this may not seem like much for you, it is for me. Again the Donating members on this site help compensate what I pull out of my pocket to maintain this site.

LCJ66 said:
and further, I was reading earlier that the site is looking for writers but on a voluntary basis. I find it "odd" that the site is supported financially by third parties, yet offers no financial reward to people who the site needs as writers.
Writers are not cheap. Writers are not free, except those that are just starting out and are looking to further their careers or get their names out. You may find it odd that a site that is supported by 2 advertisers and DMs that have donated does not pay to have writers, but we can not afford to have a staff on here. Simply put.

LCJ66 said:
A site such as this is successful ( or not ) through the efforts of its contributing members, and the owner, and anyone on an administrative or moderating team are only a small part of the success of sites such as these which are based on the medium of discussion forums.


This site is not just a forum, but there have been changes and most new people do not realize that we had at one time, and it will be returning once i finish the coding, a technical database, news portal and other things for the members and non members alike. Currently the site is in the midst of a transition and these pieces that were originally with this site are now seperated until I can get the new db and site configured.

LCJ66 said:
I hope you don't think me ( as a newcomer to the site ) to be asking too many "awkward" questions - I'm genuinely interested in understanding how the site you have here, operates; in that thread you pointed out to me, it would appear that then, many 100's if not thousands of dollars were being contributed to the site, but in my experience, discussion forum based sites don't need high amounts of cash in order to continue.
Well you are entitled to ask questions, you are entitled to enquire about things. There has not been many hundreds of thousand of dollars earned off of here. This site earned enough through Donating members and sponsors to purchase the server it is sitting on, pay for the software and pay for the BW. This site was started out as an ethusiast site that was mainly brought forth as a bet and was never intended to grow to what it is and is shaping out to be. BW and Colo costs are managed with the Donations and sponsorship as well as what I take out of my pocket.

LCJ66 said:
Thanks for replying also. I don't doubt that websites occasionally require some financial assistance in order to survive, but in my experience, that assistance can normally be more than covered by members of the administrative or moderating team, who usually number several people.
The leadership team on here consists of a few and those that are part of it have contributed. Enough not to take donations? At the time no. Many folks on here donate because they see the value of this site. many on the team have donated money out of pocket to pay for merchandise such as the shirts and hats. Others have donated items to give away at the Raids and events that we have. While others have donated there resources to better this site in one way or another and not financially or in the sense of the role that they are in. They donate for their own reasons and their own ways. Relying on the administrative team to support this site is not what I think should happen. I would like to make the site self supportive with a few sponsors. Whilst this is a good idea, that takes time as well. Nurturing those that may be interested in advertising/sponsoring. The market is different for the different areas that we happen to cover. It is not an easy task to get an advertiser that is local to one market to want to advertise on a global site that has only a percentage of his potential market share. But that is something that can be explained later if need be.

LCJ66 said:
In addition to having members contribute financially here, I also see that site branded merchandise is offered for sale
yes we have branded merchandise just like other sites do. This is to help offset the costs of running on here. Now the shirts and hats were purchased by two of the adminstrative team in bulk and the goal is/was to pay them back for the outlay and any monies received over and above would go to the site. Just as a store opening up that would take on merchandise they have an overhead and that overhead has to be met prior to any profits being taken and turned back into the store itself.

The remaining merchandise is handled by another member of the team and he makes these items and we sell them at a minimal mark up over the costs. Yes we know how to sell items, but when there is little to no margin in them we can only make so much. And again you have the cost of production for these one offs being sold that has to be addressed as well.

LCJ66 said:
- I'm just wondering how much of a commercial venture the site is etc etc,
Think that as you may, but this site is not a commercial venture. It is an enthusiast site that is here for the members and is running and will continue to run if there were no donations. The donations just come as a help to me in maintaining this site and the costs associated with it. IF I were looking to make a living off of this then I sure would be doing much differently, but then again this is just a site for the Fans and Enthusiasts of Ford Products and nothing more. When we move into a commercial venture we are skating thin ice with Ford itself. many a site has been shut down due to that and I am not looking to make this site another one of those victims.

LCJ66 said:
because I'm one of the opinion that should a person begin a website, then whomever that person is should think far enough ahead in order to try and predict where the site is heading, and whether or not funds are in place for it to reach that heading.
Whist this is great in theory, you have to understand how this site came about. It was not my intention to start a site and get it to where it is and where it is leading to. This site was started as a bet and has turned into something larger than ever planned. Is that my fault, sure I guess you can say that it is, but things are lining up to move this along to make it better than it is. Make it self sufficient, but that day has yet to come. It is getting closer mind you.

LCJ66 said:
Surely though, having access to a section of their own creates a divide unnecessarily.
yes and no. Depends on how you want to approach that.

LCJ66 said:
Anyway, I'm not here to ruffle any feathers :) .... I have access to quite a large amount of Ford information and hope to stick around and contribute it when I can. With Christmas nearly upon us I'll not have much time to spend here but, if I can settle into the site ( still busy looking around and trying to find where everything is ), I'll certainly do so.
Well, we are always open for information and if you are willing to share it with the others then that would be great. If not then so be it. Hopefully you will stick around and become a contributing member on here.....no I am not soliciting for funds. Anyhow, hope that this has explained some of the things to you.


Regards,

John
Owner: FordForums.com
 

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Discussion Starter #9
John - Thanks for your honest reply. Others may have ripped me apart for being so inquisitive, but not you. I look forward to sticking around here and contributing what I can, when I can. Have a great Christmas !!!.
 

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I am The Brain
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I for one don't feel left out by not being a donating member...I feel I can voice my opinion the same way anyone else can...except for the mods, but that is only because they can pull anything I write off :s2:

I will soon donate some money, simply because I have met some of the guys who browse these forums and want to see the forums keep going. It is a great way to chat to people with the same interests, so I fell personally that I should give something back.
 

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BOFH
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I donated because I like the site, I was NEVER asked to donate in any way. I did it (as others did) purely because I wanted to contribute. I will also continue to donate what I can as often as I can. This is the only site I donate to and feel I get far more back then I ever spend.

Enjoy your stay LCJ66.
 
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